With two Michelin stars under her belt, an MBE, and catering the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Clare Smyth is a culinary rock star. Her talent has been honed over years first under Gordon Ramsay, followed by Alain Ducasse and a stage with Thomas Keller (at The French Laundry and Per Se), before returning in 2007 to become the first female head chef (at 28-years-old) at Ramsay’s signature restaurant which earned three Michelin stars under her leadership. “It was my first head chefs role. I was the first woman in Britain to do that and the pressure was immense. I couldn’t afford slip up,” she says about her time with Ramsay.
A trailblazer in a predominantly male industry, Clare chalks it up to having good role models and being focused. “Work and learn from the very best,” says Clare. “It will be tough but you will learn the most and what it takes to be successful.” Striking out on her own with Core in 2017, Clare wanted to bring the focus back on natural, sustainable food, sourced from the UK. “I love nature, British produce, and our culture,” says Clare. “I always find inspiration and beauty in the most humble ingredients [and] elevating them to something spectacular.”